A man exits a taxi on September 4, 2012 in New York City.


New York - All New York taxi drivers from Thursday have to watch a sex trafficking awareness video to help them avoid promoting prostitution, which is a crime in New York that carries hefty jail terms and fines.

The nine-minute video says some drivers have used their cabs as “brothels on wheels” and driven prostitutes from client to client, sometimes taking a cut of the earnings from the pimp.

Sex trafficking and promoting prostitution is punishable by up to 25 years in jail and a 30 000 dollar fine in New York, the video says.

Taxi drivers now also lose their license if convicted and face an additional 10 000 dollar fine.

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission has made the new film mandatory for all drivers who apply for or renew their license.

Commissioner David Yassky said the aim was to ensure “taxi drivers don't become part of criminal activity” while ensuring they don't profile or discriminate against any potential passengers. - Sapa-dpa